Casual

Hexterity, Bix, Meteor, Flash Memory Quick Reviews

Reviews by Matt Dunn

All four of these games are simple enough, and solid in their respective game genres. I can say right now that I had fun with all of them, so I definitely recommend checking out the reviews and giving them a look!

Hexterity

This is a game that could easily get passed over on the App Store, but trust me, it deserves your attention. Hexterity takes the “Pipe Dream” style of play, which requires you to form a path from one location to another using pipes to transfer liquid, and turns on it’s six-sided side! In Hexterity, you are lighting hexagons by connecting various shapes to form a loop the begins and ends with a specified source hex.

Presentation & Graphics

Clean and smooth, with excellent animation and effects. Very impressive.

Sound


Simple, and very high quality. Nothing to say bad here. It goes perfectly with the game.

Gameplay:


This is way harder that it looks. Trust me.

This is way harder that it looks. Trust me.

Very simple touch controls, with a secondary option for those that have trouble rotating the hexagons with their fingers. It’s very challenging, but extremely addicting to find the longest path to connect both end of the source hex(pipes) to get the biggest score.  For some reason, there is no countdown timer to tell you when the source hex will explode, so that kinda catches you off guard. As a nice bonus, the game comes with an on-board tutorial, and a great tips section. There is even an online video tutorial for those who need it.

Game life:

This game will keep you coming back. Whether it’s for the worldwide/local scoreboards, or the pure fact that it’s extremely addicting, Hexterity is the kind of game that you will end up playing for longer than you originally intended. I kinda wish there was a bit more as far as game mode, but the standalone game is practically perfect on it’s own!

Game rating:

Final word:

Hexterity is an extremely fun and challenging game that expands a genre mostly untouched by the App Store, and video games in general. It’s quite intuitive, and will provide for plenty of on-the-go gameplay. Hexterity is only a hairsbreadth away from being a completely flawless puzzle game. If you’re looking for an very well-produced game that will suck away your “valuable” time like nothing else, give this one a look!

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Bix

Anyone remember Jezz Ball? If you have played the original Windows exclusive classic, you will instantly be familiar with Bix. The object of the game is to cut away sections of a box that contains bouncing balls until 25% or less of that box remain. The ball you control is constantly rotating around the innermost border of the box as you play, which gives a nice flowing feeling to the game.(Although you have control to rotate the ball in either direction.)

Presentation & Graphics

Simple, but effective. No animations for ball rotation, or any pizazz when cutting out sections of the board. The game is plain, but for a game like this, that’s ok.

Sound: None
Bix doesn’t necessarily need sound, but having the option for it would have been nice.

Gameplay:


Great control has you simply swipe in the direction you want to start cutting on the box. This can be changed in the middle of a cut, as you can see by the screen shot. There is only one special power-up ball (slo mo), and a couple other types. More please?

Game life:

The game features a high score list, and that’s about it. However, for what the game is, there’s really not much else that is needed. As always, adding an extra mode or two couldn’t hurt, but the game is fun on its own.

Game rating:

Final word:

Bix is a fun little game that gives me warm fuzzies to play. I was a big fan of Jezz Ball as a kid, and Bix takes the core mechanics and expands them in a good way. It’s nothing flashy, but it will keep you occupied. Bix is a great casual gaming title.

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Flash Memory

A simple and fun flash card memory game. Standard rules apply; you’re shown are the cards, then they are turned over and you are required to match two. The more pairs you can make before failing, the more your score multiplies.

Presentation & Graphics

A very pleasant looking game, with an art style that slightly resembles Loco Roco for the PSP. Animation for turning cards is good. Very cutesy/Japanese-styled. Really can’t ask for any more in a memory game as far as visuals go.

This is certainly a happy little game!

This is certainly a happy little game!

Sound


Music is pleasant and good quality. There are only 3 songs, but once again, you can’t really ask for much more in a game like this!

Gameplay:


Extremely responsive touch controls, happy pictures, and a nice combo system for muiltiple matches. What more can I ask for?

Game life:

There are 3 difficulty settings. (Difficulty = number of cards on the board.) Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no progression in the game. I was assuming that as I played and won games it would get more difficult, but once you clear a board of cards, the game is over and you can just start a new one. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s currently free? Go get it.

Game rating:

Final word:

Flash memory is a solid game. It doesn’t try to innovate, but what it does, it does well. With stylish graphics, solid touch gameplay, and good sound, it’s a nice little game to kill a few minutes on the go. At the beginner level, it would probably also make a nice destraction for kids.

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Meteor

In a world of seemingly endless Breakout clones on the App Store, there are some winners and some losers. Meteor is not the winner, but certainly not a loser! It brings a solid and somewhat unique experience to a tired game type. It’s essentially a break-the-bricks-with-the-ball game with a space ship theme. Your paddle is a ship with a shielf in front, there are enemy ships that sometimes fire at you, etc. This works well for Meteor, which has a lot of small good things mixed in with just a couple jarring issues.

Presentation & Graphics

Meteor is a good looking game. It would have been nice to see things rendered in 3D though, since the explosions kinda look like 2D gifs. The backgrounds are pretty.

Sound

Meteor pulls off the space theme well.

Meteor pulls off the space theme well.

Music has a great space feel to it. Sound effects are great! I especially enjoyed the different laser sounds for the laser gun power ups. It’s good to see af ull set of high-quality sound effects.

Gameplay:


There is one  daunting issue with gameplay: controlling your paddle. A lot of the Breakout-type games I’ve played have a space underneath the playing field where you control the paddle from. This works well because you can see your paddle clearly. That, or there is an option to touch the left or right side of the screen to move the paddle respectively. Meteor requires you to touch on the paddle “ship” to control it, which can prove very difficult. I found this frustrating on almost every level, because it not only blocks your field of vision at times, but having to move your finger back and forth across the iPhone screen tends to not be very accurate. Had an alternate control scheme been offered, this game would instantly been twice as fun for me.

There are also some pretty frustrating levels, but luckily you can skip between sections of them. One the biggest no nos is the complete lack of auto save if you quit to the home screen or get a call. Meteor can get pretty involved, and it would be extremely frustrating to completely lose your progress when being interrupted, which is exactly what happens.

Game life:

There are 80+ levels, which is impressive. Smartly, the devs included a menu that lets you choose between 9 sections of these levels, inc case you get fed up with where you currently are. There is a nice variety of power ups as well. So this game could possibly be played for

Game rating:

Final word:

Meteor is a worthy version of the classic breaking ball game. It has a serious control issue, some frustrating levels, and fails at saving your game automatically. However, there is a lot of content to be had. If you can stand the controls, then the huge selection of levels, good variety of power ups, and enemies to defeat are a lot of fun. With a few updates and control tweaks, Meteor will become a truly top-notch game for the iPhone.

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  • http://www.mobile-stream.com/imeteor.html Mobile Stream

    Just a comment for those interested in Meteor.
    Meteor breakout game has been updated to 1.01. The mentioned issues have been addressed: autosave error – fixed; frustrating levels – modified; the finger bar has been added to control the rocket paddle.

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